Citizens Insurance Asking for Lawsuit Immunity

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Citizens, our state-run insurance company, is asking the Florida supreme court for immunity.

Kevin Cate with the group 'policyholders of Florida' is outraged.

Cate says, "If it walks like an insurance company, talks like an insurance company, and it's the insurance company of last resort for most people, it needs to live up to the responsibilities - the promises-it made to those homeowners."

For the more than one million homeowners covered by citizens, about the only way to hold the company accountable can be to take it to court.

This is a different kind of company run by the state and protected by lawmakers.

Citizens has taken on overwhelming risk, legislators have made it clear it can't waste its money fighting lawsuits.

That's why the company's attorney says once a claims rejected, the case should be closed.

Barry Richard says, "The Legislature went to extraordinary lengths to protect those funds, which are just paid by all of the policyholders in the state of Florida, and part of the way they did that is they said, 'we are not going to allow it to be used to pay for litigation'."

The high court's justices appear to be skeptical.

The issue here is whether homeowners can have faith in the legal system to do what they complain their insurance company hasn't.

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